The Effects of Attitude Towards Problem Solving in Mathematics Achievements 1 1 2

Norhatta Mohd and 2Tengku Farah Petri Tengku Mahmood

Faculty of MIIT, General Studies Section, University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Malaysia. Faculty of MIIT, General Studies Section, University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Malaysia.

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the effects of attitude in problem solving towards mathematics achievements of Malaysian Institute of Information Technology (MIIT), Universiti Kuala Lumpur students. In this study, a total of 153 diploma and bachelor students were involved on semester one students. A survey study comprises of one set of questionnaire were used to collect data The questionnaire was divided into three dimensions, confidence, patience and willingness. The data is then analyzed using The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The descriptive and inferential statistics analyses were used to analyze all the research questions. The research findings reveal that the level of patience, confidence and willingness towards problem solving are medium. The findings also shows that there is significant contribution between overall attitude in problem solving and mathematics achievement. On the other hand, the finding shows that there is no significant relationship between gender towards problem solving and mathematics achievements. Finally, the research draws conclusions and recommendations based on students’ attitude towards problem solving and finally to develop simulation model to predict students performance in mathematics. It is hoped that the results of this study could serve as a resourceful guideline for future preparation and the ways to improve students’ achievement in mathematics. Key words: Attitude, patience, confidence, problem solving in mathematics, mathematics achievement. INTRODUCTION Mathematics is an important subject to many university students. Some are gifted and may effortlessly pass the subject without much difficulty. However, there are still many students who struggle in learning mathematics. Research has shown that students’ achievement may be influenced by attitude towards problem solving. According to Ma and Kishor, (1997) the variable ‘attitude’ is one of the most important factors that relates to achievement. Borasi (1990) adds that the conceptions, attitudes, and expectations of students regarding mathematics and mathematics teaching have been considered to be very significant factor underlying their school experience and achievement. According to Effandi and Normah (2009), a student needs to think and make decisions using appropriate strategies to solve mathematic problems. Patton et al., (1997) propose that learning to solve problems is a primary objective in learning mathematics, as problems are an inevitable fact of life. They add that students’ success in achieving their goals encourage them to develop positive attitudes towards mathematics and other problem solving activities. Positive attitudes are assumed to have significant relationship with students’ achievement. Therefore, this study seeks to identify the effects of attitude towards problem solving and investigate how these factors contribute to their mathematic achievement. At UniKL MIIT, there are a few mathematic courses offered to students. These courses are hoped to provide and prepare students with the necessary knowledge so that they can apply them to their area of specialization. Mathematical skill is essential for technical students, hence this study is carried out to identify students’ attitude towards problem solving in mathematics and its relationship with their achievement. The research questions posed in this study are as below: 1. What is the students’ attitude towards problem solving based on gender? 2. What are the contribution factors in students’ attitude towards problem solving and their...